The bar is still too high for many homeowners, with an average solar and battery system costing about $13,000, according to Origin.

NAB and Origin to help homeowners switch to solar

Homeowners will save up to $2250 on the price of installing a new solar power system under an Australia-first rewards scheme to be launched through NAB and energy retailer Origin on November 28.

NAB will expand its credit card rewards program to include the purchase and installation of solar panels, unlocking a potential $2250 in value towards an average solar system worth at least $3595.


Under the pilot offer, NAB Rewards card customers can redeem 48,080 points to receive a $500 one-off voucher from Origin plus a $250 voucher towards solar panel installation.

A maximum $2250 discount would be available to new NAB Home Loan and Banking Bundle customers who receive 350,000 rewards points, NAB Consumer Lending executive general manager Angus Gilfillan said.

Mr Gilfillan said the bank acknowledged Australians’ growing demand for green energy, which dovetailed with the bank’s target to lift its environmental financing commitment from $11 billion to $55 billion by 2025.

The Australian-first rewards program would count towards installation as well as flow-on benefits from lower energy bills, he said.

“We know that cost is a significant factor for consumers when making a purchase, so we hope this initiative makes it easier and more affordable for Australians to make the switch to solar,” he said.

Origin Solar and Energy Solutions general manager of business Ryan Willemsen-Bell said people did not need to be an Origin power customer to take up the offer.

“Using suppliers Fronius and Zeversolar for inverters and China-made panels from China Sunergy and Trina, the outlay for a 3.2-kilowatt solar system would be about $1500 under the new offer compared with a retail price of $3593,” he said.

“My hope is that it starts to help us access a group of customers that I think would really benefit from solar that are most exposed to higher energy prices at the moment,” he said.

Australia has the world’s highest penetration of residential solar photovoltaic panels, installed on about 16.5 per cent of all households, with proportions closer to 30 per cent in the sunshine states of Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Mr Willemsen-Bell said Origin had about 400,000 residential solar power customers, or 10 per cent of its retail residential base.

However, the bar was still too high for many homeowners, considering an average solar and battery system cost about $13,000, he said.

Origin provided incentives for solar power users, which included a two-year interest-free payment plan and a Solar Flex power purchase agreement for power from solar panels installed and owned by Origin at a customer’s premises, which had been popular with commercial customers, he said.

Savings on power costs would vary but were likely to benefit most customers who could “loadshift” power hungry appliances, such as pool pumps and clothes driers, for use when the sun was shining.

“It depends on the behaviour of the consumer, someone with a lot of load level, such as a pool pump, would get a large amount of benefit (from solar power) compared with someone with a smaller [overall] consumption. Nevertheless you’d expect to have a significant change in cost,” he said.


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